Reader reviews and comments on The Last Time They Met, plus links to write your own review.

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The Last Time They Met

by Anita Shreve

The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve X
The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2001, 320 pages
    Jan 2002, 320 pages

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There are currently 59 reader reviews for The Last Time They Met
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Anonymous (12/08/03)

Can you say 'cheesy, Lifetime television for women'?

The unrealistic drama drove me crazy. I finally had to put the book down when I read of Thomas explaining to Linda of his wife's affair and she commented <<edited for potential plot spoiler>>. Come on! A dead husband, a divorce, an abortion, a dead child, and an alcoholic gay son, all within the first 80 pages! I found this all hard to stomach. I was afraid to read any further for fear of more deaths and the like.
The reviews praise the author for her style of telling the story from the present day to the past, but I found Anita Shreve's style of telling the story backwards, distracting. There was no way of telling when she was talking about the present day or the past. I was forced to read pages over again to really figure out what she was talking about.

Over all, I would have to give a big thumbs down for "The Last Time They Met". The woman in my book group who recommended this will be reprimanded harshly.

rabid reader (10/14/03)

Anita Shreve once again sucked me in. The narration of the story is clever--an overwhelming love affair told from the present to the past. Shreve's novels are so finely crafted that to read her work is similar to eating a gourmet meal--every sentence is a pleasure to digest. She describes her characters thoughts so intimately and completely. I devoured this read, and the ending is so incredible that I have to reread it immediately. Bravo!
A Nascent Reader (09/30/03)

Dear Readers and Potential Readers,

I found this story un-bearably drab and, consequently, I was not able to complete the book. Despite moving backward, the story was very slow; and I do mean *very* slow. I constantly found myself thinking, "Is it possible to use massive amounts of words, yet say nothing?", which was exactly what Shreve did. She used too many words, yet said nothing. The character development was near non-existant. A lot was written about Linda; however, I did not get any sense of who Linda really was, nor for what she stood. So after several dozen pages, I couldn't care less about Linda or her life. Additionally, Shreve's writing style in this book was remarkably distracting! Firstly, her use of parenthesis was downright distressing. The parenthesis statements would go on for half or more of the page; so long, in fact, that you were forced to re-read the beginning of the sentence (or paragraph) just to get a sufficient grip on what was just written. So it goes without saying that you could conceivably spend over a minute on one single page. Secondly, quotes were not used when the characters had dialogue. Instead of quoting the dialogue; Shreve, for some entirely arcane reason, saw fit to italicize the dialogue. I completely understand wanting to be original; but originality to point of interference might tend to deter, thus loosing the audience. And this book sure lost me. In short, nothing about this book was spell bounding, captivating or mesmerizing as some reviews have professed. It was not a 'can't-put-it-down pageturner'; franky, I found it quite easy to put this one down.

- A Nascent Reader
Ben (08/26/03)

Have to agree wih Dawn and Kathie. A most intense, affecting novel, which made me feel exceptionally emotional. Like the others, the final denouement left me awestruck. My wife and I both think the novel happened in Thomas' mind, and that the heroine was deceased throughout most of the story. This does not detract from the novel........but I WOULD like to know if we are right...??
Kathie (08/05/03)

I just finished the book. I loved this story but I am very confused by the ending. I would love to discuss my feelings with another reader. Please email me at so we can discuss this book.
Dawn (07/29/03)

It is a week since I read this book and it's ending keeps coming back to haunt me. Like everyone else I read the last page about 5 times. I have never been so affected by a book. The only thing for it is to read Shreve's other novels - I am totally hooked.
Paul Howard (07/26/03)

Brilliant love story, and although the first book by Anita that I have read, it will not be the last!
Lisa D. (06/01/03)

If you have not yet read "Last Time They Met", I suggest you read "the Weight of Water" first. The ending to Weight /Water was devastating, I cried for HOURS and had a haunting feeling inside for months after, every time I laid eyes on the book. I was almost as devastated at the ending of "Last time They Met" and cried for an hour after finishing it. But it you read Last Time THey Met FIRST, you will already know the 'shocking' conclusion to Weight of Water. If you read Weight of Water first, you will fully understand why Thomas felt his life was too unbearable at the end of Last Time They Met. Best two books of Anita Shreve's I've read so far!!!!

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